The first game of the women’s rugby 6 Nations ended dramatically with the game between Ireland and Wales abandoned at halftime.
Scottish referee Kevin White called the game after 40 minutes for health and safety reasons, with the pitch hardening in the freezing temperatures.
Ireland were leading 10-3 when the game was called off and the IRFU later confirmed that the match result will not stand, and that though a replay was offered for tomorrow, the away team declined and the 6 Nations sub-committee will meet next week to set a date for a replay between the teams at the same County Meath venue.
Ireland had scored the only try in the 18th minute through an excellent run from winger Alison Miller, with centre Niamh Briggs adding the conversion.
Wales’ Laura Prosser and Briggs swapped penalties in the closing minutes of the half as Ireland moved 10-3 ahead for the break.
The girls in green were camped in the Welsh half for most of the opening quarter at Ashbourne RFC. They were unfortunate not to make more of a Claire Molloy turnover which resulted in a powerful burst from debutant lock Sophie Spence.
Briggs added the conversion but Wales forced Ireland to defend for much of the next 20 minutes.
Wales had flanker Sioned Harries sin-binned in the 36th minute, but they kept the pressure on the Irish defence and forced a penalty which Prosser converted.
Ireland managed to have the final say of the half with Briggs kicking them back into a seven-point lead deep into injury-time.
Ireland Women’s Team: Ashleigh Baxter (Belfast Harlequins – Ulster)*,. Niamh Kavanagh (UL Bohemians – Munster), Niamh Briggs (UL Bohemians – Munster), Grace Davitt (Cooke – Ulster), Alison Miller (Portlaoise/Highfield – Connacht), Lynne Cantwell (Exile), Amy Davis (Blackrock – Leinster), Fiona Coghlan (UL Bohemians – Leinster) Captain, Gillian Bourke (UL Bohemians – Munster), Ailis Egan (Old Belvedere – Leinster), Marie Louise Reilly (Old Belvedere – Leinster), Sophie Spence (Exile)*, Laura Guest (Highfield – Munster), Claire Molloy (Bristol – Exile), Joy Neville (UL Bohemians – Munster)
Replacements: Paula Fitzpatrick (St. Mary’s – Leinster)*, Ruth O’Reilly (Galwegians – Connacht)*, Siobhan Fleming (Tralee – Munster)*, Heather O’Brien (Highfield – Munster), Larissa Muldoon (Exile/UWIC – Ulster) Nikki Caughey (Belfast Harlequins – Ulster)*, A.N. Other *Denotes Uncapped Player
Wales Women’s Team: 1. Caryl Thomas, 2. Rhian Bowden, 3. Jenny Davies, 4. Vicky Owens, 5. Shona Powell Hughes, 6. Sioned Harries, 7. Rachel Taylor (Capt), 8. Jamie Kift, 9. Laura Prosser, 10. Naomi Thomas, 11. Rosie Fletcher, 12. Adi Taviner, 13. Philippa Tuttiett, 14. Charlie Murray. 15. Mared Evan
Replacements: 16. Lowri Harries, 17. Megan York, 18. Sian Williams. 19. Clare Flowers, 20. Amy Day, 21. Rebecca De Filippo, 22. Caryl James
Keep track of all the rosters, scores and schedule here.